It’s Okay to Be a German Bus Driver

18 12 2019

Dresden

Of course he got fired.

Remember, there’s a Nazi emergency in this city.





It’s Officially Weihnachtsmarkt Season

10 12 2019

Augsburg

It was only a matter of which one and how.

And it happened on Sunday at one of the ‘Markets in Augsburg.

While I and everyone else was anticipating religion of peace or truck of peace, it turned out to be more of a mahogany mob.  A gang of seven “youths,” ages 17 to 20, five of them have significant Turkish ancestry.  And they ganged up on a firefighter, beat him up, and wound up killing him.  The Einzelfall Brigade is out in full force, and we’re also hearing (translated) that it was a “fight,” so you all know what that means, on several levels.

As if to add insult to injury, the day after, in Munich, a cop got stabbed in the back, but not killed.  The doer in that case is a 30-year old actual German, who is all the time in and out of mental hospitals.  Needless to say, it was not a kind two-day stretch in Bavaria.

Also, and this was the worst-timed news in the world, a landlord in Augsburg had to pay a fine and was so ordered by a court today, because he wanted to rent only to Germans in his advertisement, and turned down someone from Burkina Faso in the process.  Said landlord said he has always had a lot of problems with drug dealing Turks as tenants, but the judge said (translated) that “individuals commit crimes, not groups.”  Of course, that sword only has one sharp edge.





Dynamic Death Spiral

22 11 2019

Berlin

A few of you e-mailed me what you thought was yesterday’s big news, about what was found out about the Berlin Christmas Market truck driver of peace three years ago.

I’ve known about almost all of it for more than a year.

The only thing that yesterday added to the mix was that it confirmed what we already suspicioned, that the Obama Administration knew that this TDoP was a pidgeon, and put pressure on Merkel and her Interior Minister of the time (trivia:  A first cousin of the only truly democratically elected head of state in East Germany’s history), to prevent German law enforcement from arresting his terrorist plotting.

To me, the interesting thing about all this is looking at it from a high perch, and seeing not only the folly in the invade the world invite the world paradigm, but now also seeing how “invade the world” and “invite the world” feed off of each other to create a dynamic death spiral.  Doing one means being dragged into the other, and eventually, the dynamo gets going, and both are used as reasons to keep on doing the other.  We have to invite the world so that the people we import supposedly helps our ability to invade the world or smooths over the geopolitics of invading the world, and we have to invade the world because the world we invited did things like ram trucks into Christmas markets, so we invade the world out of revenge.  But not after inviting more of the world we’re invading, because we need Arabic translators, or something.





Gruppenvergewaltigungnovember

19 11 2019

Your Blogmeister’s German Desk

For the rest of the world, it’s No Nut November.  Except for me;  Necessity forced me to do it last month.

In this country?  Quite the opposite:  It’s Gruppenvergewaltigungnovember.  Gang Rape November.

Since the beginning of the month, and the final three of these were just over this past weekend, there were “migration background” led gang rapes in Ulm (trivia:  Albert Einstein’s native city), Meiningen (rural southwestern Thuringia), Düsseldorf (next berg downstream from me), and Chemnitz (site of the August-September 2018 murder of Daniel H. by a refugee and the subsequent patriotic uprising).





Mauerfall

10 11 2019

Berlin

November 9, 1989 is for Germans what November 22, 1963 and September 11, 2001 is for Americans.

The “where were you and what were you doing when you learned that…” moment.  The main difference is that JFK and 9/11 were immediate flash events;  The fall of the Berlin Wall, or more accurately, East German authorities no longer enforcing out-travel restrictions as of the evening of November 9, 1989, had a lot that needed to happen before it could happen, and then a lot of things happened as a result of it.

I’ve already gone over the Cliffs Notes of the history.  Except I should have mentioned something then, that I figured out in the car on the way to Berlin night before last as we zoomed by the old Helmstedt-Marienborn Inner German Border checkpoint, and yes, during the summer voyage summer before last, I saw the museum and remnants at that spot.  November 9, 1989 didn’t immediately abolish the Inner German Border — That didn’t happen formally until July 1 of the next year;  The CDU government headed by Lothar de Maizière elected in the DDR in March of the next year in the DDR’s only genuinely democratic elections needed to happen, and then his government abolished the Inner German Border security, and of course his government was just the placeholder for the DDR’s part in negotiating “German reunification,” i.e. the DDR being abolished and its territory joining the Bundesrepublik Deutschland (colloquially “West Germany” until 1990) per Article 23 of the Bundesrepublik’s Basic Law.

I was 12 years old and in the 7th grade on that day, and my teachers and most of my classmates followed along with the daily series of events, because we all knew this was big history happening right in front of our faces.

My girlfriend was only two and a half years old, her sister nine months old, her brother-in-law three months old, that day, so this could not have been a “where were you and what were you doing” moment for them.  My g/f’s father was 31 and her mother 27 on that day, so the next time I see one or both of them, (we’ll be motoring on outta here very shortly, but we won’t get back to Cologne in time for me to join them all for Sunday Rinderbraten), I’ll ask them where they were and what were they doing.

Just in the past year, I’ve been to the centennial of the Armistice of World War I in Compiègne last November 11, the 75th anniversary of D-Day at Omaha Beach back on June 6, and then, yesterday, here.  That’s one of the perks of this job, being here to be party to significant anniversaries of some big events and right where they happened.

And if you would have told 12-year old me on November 9, 1989, that I would be right there on site at the 30th anniversary commemoration of this event, I would have told you you were crazy.

***

There was a big disconnect between the way the German, American and international media portrayed the bittersweet nature of the day, and the attitude of most people on the ground about the bittersweet nature of the day.

The only thing in common between the two sides is the bittersweet mentality.

The disconnect is really easy to explain:

The media and political establishment thought that 30 years ago Saturday leading up to the day after Christmas 1991, the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union, was the process which meant the Fukuyamaite “end of history.”  But in the generation since then, the promise of utopian liberal democracy has been unrealized, and is now being set back by those white populists and nationalists who stubbornly continue to take their own side.  The German media in particular also used the day as another opportunity to squeal about the lingering east-west divide.

Germans on the ground in Berlin on Saturday were bittersweet, because the grassroots mentality starting 30 years ago Saturday and peaking on the day of formal reunification the next year was that, now, finally, the Russians and Americans would take their troops and go home, and Germany could finally become genuinely independent and a true global power and maybe even superpower, and at the very least, quit being a vassal-client of either.  In that time, obviously the Russians left in very short order, mainly because the USSR proper was itself on its last leg.  But American disengagement from Germany has been a much more slow process, and still to this day not consummated.  While the American military footprint in Germany has been declining, what has not abated is American soft power.  Yes, I know I write that rather unironically.

To wit, and as a very small example:  The new Reagan statue debuted on Friday very near the exact spot where Reagan stood on the high podium to deliver the “Tear Down This Wall” address.  While JFK is openly honored about two miles southwest of that point, at the old West Berlin City Hall, the site of “Ich Bin Ein Berliner,” (and miss me with the jelly donut nonsense, that’s fake news), the reason why the Reagan statue there and now rubs Germans a little bit of the wrong way is because Americans are continuing to use Germany for American political ends, when by now, they thought we would have been long gone.

So that basically sums up the disconnect.  Politicians and the media are upset that populism and nationalism still exist, while grassroots Germans are upset that Germany is still an American vassal-client.

 





Nazinotstand

3 11 2019

Dresden

A non-existent political party got the Dresden City Council to declare officially a Nazi emergency, back on Wednesday.

ISYN.

I highly suspect a /pol/ style massive epic troll operation.

And also, where’s Kurt Vonnegut when you need him?

Note:  Dresden is Germany’s hub for internet startups, so you can probably see how Dresden’s urban political culture is way different from the state of Saxony, and Dresden is the state’s capital.  The AfD finished in first place in the state in the 2017 Bundestag and 2019 MEP, and I’ve already told you why it wasn’t the same for the 2019 Landtag.  State governments in Germany have most of the say when it comes to education and law enforcement, so state government elections are considered more high stakes than the Bundestag or MEP.





Farewell to the Meadow Baths

31 10 2019

Wiesbaden

It’s all over but the crying, all the doctors have been seen.  I had four, count ’em, four, doctors to see yesterday:  My post-rehab exit assessment, the GP, the allergist and the endocrinologist.

My gracious residential hosts for the summer and fall have been thanked, so also vice versa.

All my bags are packed.

In a few hours, I catch a train back to Cologne for good. In as much as anything really is for good.

Wiesbaden as a city really suits me well and fits my hand like a comfortable glove. And it’s not just because what I told you months ago, that I now believe this general area is the epicenter of my German ancestry, which in turn is the supermajority of my ethnic constitution.

It’s because Wiesbaden mashes up some of the good features of several large and well known German cities without having much if all of their bad sides.

It’s serious without being tense. (Yes, Cologne, I’m looking at you). It’s cerebral without being a total Babelian flophouse. (Yes, Frankfurt, I’m looking at you). It’s prosperous and content without being that weird combination of haughty and naive. (Yes, Munich, I’m looking at you). And it’s fun without being hedonistic. (Yes, Berlin, I’m looking at you).

One reason that can be true is that, while Wiesbaden, and cross-the-river Mainz, have their own caches, their own histories, their own anchors, and they’re both the capitals of their respective states, they have also become de facto suburbs of Frankfurt;  People that have to work in but don’t want to live in the Babelian flophouse and instead want to live in towns that are at least somewhat actually German will live in and commute to and from either.

Let me put it in another way, one that St. Louisans will get: Get four extra grown St. Louisans who aren’t either relatives or close friends in a car, in St. Louis, of course, and you have to pick a radio station. Of course it’s going to be 102.5, because it makes the most people the most adequately satisfied most of the time, while offending the fewest possible people for as short of a time as possible, and therefore unlikely much to bother anyone in the car. Wiesbaden is the KEZK of German cities.

If the job wasn’t in Cologne or The Region in general, but it had to be in western Germany, I’d be living here in Wiesbaden permanently. But, the job is in The Region, so there I shall return in a matter of hours.  But at least I’ve got a whole lot of personal drama there waiting for me. Oh how I hope that when I get back that I see that these two and a half months going by has made that sister of hers forget about the silly notion that she has a shot at me, but something tells me that shaking her is not going to be that easy.  As far as my actual girlfriend, I’ll soon find out how well our relationship has held up after a whole month of not seeing each other at all, and after five months of only intermittently seeing each other.  The answers to both I shall know before October officially flips to November.

Since going to D-Day in early June and now, I was only in Cologne for the few days after getting back from D-Day to pack to head here to Wiesbaden for the start of rehab, then those two short stays before and after going to Potsdam in the second half of August, the earlier of the two is when the g/f took me home to meet the family, which unfortunately also included her sister.  Just about five whole months, I think I forgot what Cologne even looks like.  I hope it’s still there.  Even though they say Bielefeld isn’t actually there…but I digress.

You may be wondering why my whole summer and early fall rehab was in Wiesbaden, why I couldn’t do it in Cologne. And why my regular doctors are here. That’s a question I can’t answer in public. As usual, you know the drill, I’ll tell you only if I know and trust you;  for everyone else, I could tell you, but then I’d have to…

Anyway, farewell to the Meadow (“Wiese”) Baths (“Baden”), for now.  But I’ll be back…with my next doctor’s appointment, if not before for some other reason.

We’ll meet again in Spaceballs 2:  The Search For More Money.